DECATUR – The DPS Board of Education approved the Mentor 2.0 program agreement between Big Brothers Big Sisters and DPS 61 on Tuesday night.
The agreement allows for a program to be instituted where approximately 50 ninth graders from MacArthur High School will be paired with college-educated working professionals in one-on-one mentoring relationships. DPS 61 Superintendent Lisa Taylor says the program is intended to encourage students to stay in school, graduate and move on to college.
“This program will hopefully increase attendance,” says Taylor. “Just knowing somebody cares and somebody is supportive and wants to push you to achieve is really the goal.”
Taylor says that this program is nationally recognized and involves a curriculum around college-ready and non-classroom drivers of academic engagement. She adds that BBBS should provide and facilitate college prep resources, career skills development, as well as additional BBBS programs. She says freshmen are especially targeted with this program.
“Freshman year across the nation is very challenging and you tend to have some increase discipline needed for those who are skipping or might dropout,” says Taylor.
Taylor adds that they hope to add a new group of 50 students each year and perhaps raise that number if everything goes as planned.